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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer 114

Posted by timothy
from the first-they-said-you-were-crazy dept.
An anonymous reader writes Google [Thursday] shared an update from Project Loon, the company's initiative to bring high-speed Internet access to remote areas of the world via hot air balloons. Google says it now has the ability to launch up to 20 of these balloons per day. This is in part possible because the company has improved its autofill equipment to a point where it can fill a balloon in under five minutes. This is a major achievement, given that Google says filling a Project Loon balloon with enough air so that it is ready for flight is the equivalent of inflating 7,000 party balloons.

Genes Don't Just Predict Intelligence, But Also How Well You Do In School 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the banking-on-my-extra-credit-genes dept.
sciencehabit writes: If you sailed through school with high grades and perfect test scores, you probably did it with traits beyond sheer smarts. A new study of more than 6000 pairs of twins finds that academic achievement is influenced by genes affecting motivation, personality, confidence, and dozens of other traits, in addition to those that shape intelligence (abstract). The results may lead to new ways to improve childhood education.

Ozone Layer Recovering But Remains Threatened 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-better dept.
First time accepted submitter i kan reed writes in with some good news from the ozone report of the United Nations. The Earth’s protective ozone layer is on track to recover by the middle of the century, the United Nations today reported, urging unified action to tackle climate change and curb continued fluctuations to the composition of the atmosphere. That is according to the assessment of 300 scientists in the summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014, published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO). “International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a news release. “This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of climate change.”

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows 352

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-rose-by-any-other-name dept.
DroidJason1 writes Microsoft is killing off the "Windows Phone" name in favor of Windows. The company also plans to drop the "Nokia" name from handsets in favor of just "Lumia." These details were revealed in a leaked memo. We've already begun seeing these changes in recent advertisements from Microsoft and it makes perfect sense seeing as how Microsoft is shifting towards one operating system to rule them all.

Comment: Re:Powershell (Score 2) 729

One of my favourites in C:

int* a = ...
2[a] = 5;

Not sure if this is still allowed by the latest standards, but it used to work.This makes use of the fact that the bracket operator x[y] is syntactic sugar for *(x+y). So:

a[2] = *(a + 2) = *(2 + a) = 2[a]

Now try that somewhere else!

Comment: Re:Identical devices (Score 1) 194

by NoOneInParticular (#47511251) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting
I think you're overestimating the effect of marketing software. Oh, yes, it's extremely effective at figuring out who you are over many sites, but then the offers are absolutely atrocious. To wit:

There is no time in my life I am less likely to buy some white pants, a toaster or a flight to Los Angeles than after I've just bought these items, yet that's precisely the time I see ads for these products or services.

In other words, digital marketing is a con. It's conning business into paying for technology. No actual value is achieved.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 778

Why do you think the sign of a dying society is a decreasing population? What is your long term outlook? Are we to support 10 billion people, then 100 billion, then a trillion? How do you think this would work out?

I think a population, decreasing or increasing toward stability, is a sign of civilization. Resources are being maxed out, people are no longer starving, and you do not need children to take care of you in your old age. I'm sure that in the US this doesn't hold, as you'll have infinite resources and infinite growth potential, though in the rest of the world, people beg to differ.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard